By: MJ Gonzales |Gogagah
A beautiful ancestral house is very sentimental and also hard to maintain through the years. For the Ilagan-Barrion family, they’re able to maintain and make their heritage house at Agoncillo St., Taal, Batanggas open for everyone. It’s now a museum called Galleria Taal, which features old models of cameras.
Taal is an historical and famous primarily because this is where you’ll find the World’s Smallest Active Volcano and Asia’s Largest Catholic Church or Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours. Lately, the ancestral houses here make Taal more interesting to visit. Apart from Ilagan-Barrio’s house, tourists and trippers may visit Casa Villavicencio, Marcella Agoncillo Museum, Villavicencio Wedding Gift House, Agoncillo White House at Apacible Museum.
History of Ilagan and Barrion’s ancestral house
Before it became a museum (entrance fee Php100 for adult and Php 50 for students), Domingo Ilagan at Maria Martinez –Ilagan owned this two-storey old house, which built in 1870. The couple had six kids namely Aniceto, Rosario (Villanueva), Candida (Barrion), Concepcion (Sison), Julita at Juan Ilagan.
Among the six, Candida and her husband Antonio Barrion, a lawyer and one of the delegates in 1935 Constitution Convention (1st District, Batangas), resided here longer. When Candida died in 1975, the house became unmaintained. However in 2004, her grandsons Emmanuel “Manny” Inumerable, a businessman-engineer, and Bobby decided to renovate it.
Focus on Vintage Camera Museum
Under Manny Inumerable’s management, he rebuilt and converted their heritage house into a museum of his old cameras. The vintage cameras and photos were located in the second floor of Galleria Taal. Here you’ll also see old photos, which captured during the Spanish, American, and Japanese occupations, Marcos regime, EDSA revolution, and others.
About the cameras, it’s noticeable that in early times the cameras were big as old television and looks like x-ray machines like the Rochester View Camera (1902) made in United States. Meanwhile, if the digital cameras today are colorful, in 1800s and early 1900s the cameras were brown and black. It’s because the cameras in the past had also wood materials like the Shew Tailboard Camera. It’s a folding field camera that uses 4’x5” film plate and has body that’s made in mahogany.
The first floor of Galleria Taal is slowly converted into a restaurant for visitors and travelers. It pampers trippers who also going around in nearby tourist destinations the Our Lady of Caysasay Church, Sta. Lucia Well, and Don Juan BBQ Restaurant, famous for their boodles menus.